Examining performance-based EI and its association to mental skill use in athletes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Ryan Lee Evans (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Renee Newcomer-Appaneal

Abstract: Emotional Intelligence (EI) has received recognition in education, health, business, and recently sport. Yet, after 2 decades, there is little consensus over its definition and measurement (Zeidner et al., 2008). Some describe EI as a set of abilities and form of intelligence (Mayer & Salovey, 1997), while others conceptualize EI as a mixture of abilities and personality (Bar-On, 1997; Goleman, 1995). The limited research in sport has examined EI and its connection to a variety of performance-related outcomes, using measures developed from each of the two theories mentioned. While EI has been tied to performance outcomes, it may be that athletes' use of mental skills mediates the relationship between EI and performance. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the association between performance-based EI and use of mental skills. A secondary purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which gender and sport moderate the relationship between EI and mental skills use. Performance-based EI was measured using the online version of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT: Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002), while mental skill use was measured using the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS: Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999). Participants included 67 male and female Division III athletes from intact teams in baseball, softball, tennis and swimming. Relationships between the MSCEIT (and its subscales) and the TOPS (and its subscales) were examined. In addition, the extent to which athletes' gender and sport moderated the relationship between their EI and mental skill use was explored. Analyses revealed that there were no significant, positive relationships between EI and mental skill use totals or at the subscale level. On the contrary, one significant, negative relationship was found between the facilitating emotions branch of the MSCEIT and goal setting in practice. However, the main findings of this study centered on the low internal reliability of two branches of the MSCEIT. Results suggest that more research needs be done with a larger sample size to assess the reliability of using the MSCEIT with an athlete population before further studies are conducted in this area.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Athlete, Emotional Intelligence, Mental Skill Use
Emotional intelligence
Performance $x Psychological aspects
Sports $x Psychological aspects

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